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PCB-June2015

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32 The PCB Magazine • June 2015 Abstract Flexible and stretchable circuit technologies offer reduced volume and weight, increased electrical performance, larger design freedom and improved interconnect reliability. All of these advantages are appealing for space appli- cations. In this paper, two example technolo- gies, the ultra-thin chip package (UTCP) and stretchable moulded interconnect (SMI), are described. The UTCP technology results in a 60 µm thick chip package, including the embed- ding of a 20 µm thick chip, laser or protolithic via definition to the chip contacts and applica- tion of fan-out metallization. Imec's stretchable interconnect technology is inspired by conven- tional rigid and flexible printed circuit board (PCB) technology. Stretchable interconnects by Maarten Cauwe, Frederick Bossuyt, Johan De Baets, and Jan Vanfleteren labOraTOry FOr aDVancED rESEarcH In MIcrO- ElEcTrOnIcS (IMEc) GHEnT unIVErSITy, bElGIuM Flexible and Stretchable Circuit technologies for Space Applications are realized by copper meanders supported by a flexible material (e.g., polyimide). Elastic mate- rials, predominantly silicone rubbers, are used to embed the conductors and the components, thus serving as circuit carrier. The possible ad- vantages of these technologies with respect to space applications are discussed. 1. Introduction The driving application for flexible and stretchable circuit technologies is consumer electronics, especially handheld and mobile de- vices, which benefit the most from the reduction in form factor, the increased functional density and enlarged user comfort that is made possible with these technologies. Reduced volume and weight, increased electrical performance, larger design freedom and improved interconnect re- liability are benefits that are also appealing for space applications. Traditionally, electronics and sensor circuits are fabricated on flat rigid substrates, like FR-4 PCBs. In this conventional technology, pack- FeAtuRe

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